Dear Valued Hunger Relief Partners,
At Food Bank of the Rockies, we are grateful for so many things during this season, one of which was a successful and informative Western Slope Partner Conference in October! We met so many of our amazing partners and were able to learn about each other and grow together. It’s such a privilege to partner with agencies new and seasoned alike that color our days and encourage us knowing that together, we are all making a difference in nourishing our neighbors across the Western Slope.
We know that in addition to being a time for celebration and family, the holidays can be a time of increased need and stress. We strive to offer products to our partners that address the traditional, culturally responsive, and much-anticipated items that neighbors, families, and friends can have at the center of their celebrations. We are grateful to be here to support your missions and partner with you to impact your communities in such meaningful ways! What are you grateful for?
Jill “J.T.” Davis
Food For Kids Representative, Western Slope
- November 23 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Thanksgiving
- November 24 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Thanksgiving
- There are no make-up days, so please plan ahead!
Welcome, Mandy Nuku!
Feeding Colorado is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Government Relations Director, Mandy Nuku, who joined us in August 2023.
Mandy brings years of experience in the non-profit sector and government relations field with a strong focus on grassroots policy advocacy. Mandy has most recently worked in the health policy space, focused on early childhood home-visiting programs. Mandy is passionate about elevating the voices of people closest to the work and people with lived experience as part of her advocacy and policy work. Mandy holds a master’s degree in politics and public policy from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Mandy joins Feeding Colorado to further the organization’s goals of raising awareness of the issue of hunger and to leverage the resources of Colorado’s robust agricultural, manufacturing, and retail industries to benefit people experiencing food insecurity in Colorado and Wyoming. We are excited to have her on our team!
You can contact Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feeding Colorado on the Hill
This September, Feeding Colorado visited with the Colorado Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., with over 100 other Feeding America partners. We advocated for a Farm Bill with strong programs like SNAP and TEFAP that support people experiencing hunger. Thanks to all the offices that met with Feeding Colorado!
Feeding Colorado Network in the News
Check out this article from Colorado Newsline that highlights the increased need for food assistance programs and how Congress can help our network meet this need in our communities.
The Farm Bill is due to be reauthorized later this year. Check out Feeding America’s Farm Bill Legislation Watch Page, which includes our network’s Farm Bill priorities, fast facts, and an overview of this important legislation. Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our Congressional Delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the Farm Bill!
Are you interested in sharing why you care about fighting hunger with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Mason at Feeding Colorado (email@example.com) to learn more about opportunities to engage in public policy work!
Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) – Free Food Items Available to Partners
We are several months into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) and are so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May! We continue to procure food items based on feedback received from our partners in the Partner Network meetings held last spring.
Thanks to the input from partners:
- 37 items have been made available
- 1,803,997 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our neighbors
- 363 partners have participated in the CEF program
Have you been ordering your allocation of free items? Partners should search Agency Express for items labeled as CEF when placing orders. These are items available to our partners at no fee. To ensure equitable access for our neighbors, we will limit the amount of CEF free products each organization can order. When you see the CEF items on the shopping list, the quantity you see is YOUR allocation. Don’t miss out – order it up! We will continue to make products available until funding is expended or through June 30, 2024. Please contact Partner Support with any questions about the CEF ordering process or the items available: firstname.lastname@example.org
All USDA Programs Update
Religiously affiliated TEFAP and EverGreen Box™, a program of Everyday Eats, partners are no longer required to post the Written Notice of Beneficiary Rights or the Beneficiary Referral Request. You will still need to adhere to 7 CFR 16. However, the additional posting requirement has been terminated.
Proof of insurance is now a requirement. Please reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions.
EverGreen Boxes™, a Program of Everyday Eats
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Quarterly Sessions on September 18 and September 28 to review updated insurance guidelines for partners involved in USDA programs. We are so grateful for the opportunity to share in this learning process and be your advocate amid these changes. We have also included the session’s slides for your review.
Our team is available to you for questions or concerns. Feel free to contact Britni Stupin, Government Programs Manager, EverGreen Boxes™, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also excited to announce we released our Neighbor Preferences Survey for the program! We invite you all to share it with your participating neighbors so we can better tailor our food orders and nutritional education content.
EverGreen Boxes™, a Program of Everyday Eats, Neighbor Survey:
Encuesta de Vecinos de EverGreen Boxes™, a Program of Everyday Eats:
Food for Kids Update
Reminder about Totes of Hope™ Communication
This is a friendly reminder for any Totes of Hope™ partners to please email our Food for Kids representative Jill Davis at email@example.com with questions, concerns, or feedback.
Partner Spotlight: Little Bird Creative Community
Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope is excited to introduce a wonderful addition to our team of Hunger Relief Partners. Let’s get to know Little Bird Creative Community’s remarkable contributions to its neighbors.
Nestled in the scenic rural town of Gypsum, Little Bird Creative Community is a non-profit venture that embraces the power of artistic expression and specializes in culinary education. Their main mission is to address the pressing concern of food security in Eagle County and surrounding areas. Through their engaging culinary education programs in a commercial kitchen setting, they work toward positive change and nurturing growth among their community’s most vulnerable members.
To accomplish their goals, they’ve crafted comprehensive initiatives and programs that empower community members with the skills and knowledge to craft wholesome, nourishing meals. Here’s a peek at some of their key offerings:
- Subsidized cooking classes: Little Bird offers a range of classes and workshops in food preparation, cooking, and baking. By keeping the costs affordable, they ensure that people from all walks of life can access these crucial culinary skills.
- Prepared meals for donation to The Community Market Food Bank: Their team of seasoned chefs prepare nourishing food and, through collaboration with The Community Market, repurpose food items into delicious ready-to-eat meals for neighbors to pick up at the Market. This thoughtful process addresses food waste and insecurity, and provides invaluable mentorship for budding kitchen apprentices.
- Subsidized kitchen time and incubator services for small businesses: Little Bird provides cost-effective access to a health department-approved commercial kitchen for small businesses. This forward-thinking initiative encourages entrepreneurship, supports businesses in their initial stages, and contributes to the local economy. Additionally, they offer incubator services to foster the growth and prosperity of these ventures.
By arming community members with culinary skills, Little Bird Creative Community is empowering individuals to create healthy, homemade meals for themselves and their loved ones. Their programs go beyond the kitchen, promoting confidence, well-being, and overall health among participants. Moreover, by championing small businesses and offering them a space to flourish, they’re playing a vital role in the local economy’s vitality and growth.
During our 2023 Partner Conference Panel session, it was evident that each of our Partners brings a distinctive and heartwarming blend of support to their communities. Food Bank of the Rockies is overjoyed to welcome such a unique partner as Little Bird Creative Community. We eagerly anticipate standing by their side, supporting their journey, and witnessing the positive impact they’ll make on their neighbors.
Meet Grand Junction Native and Distribution Specialist Kelly Geyler
Born and bred in picturesque Grand Junction, Kelly Geyler has become an integral part of our team as the Western Slope Distribution Specialist. But her talents don’t stop there!
As a devoted single mother to her radiant daughter Aurora, who recently celebrated her 12th birthday, Kelly exemplifies the true essence of motherhood. Aurora is not only Kelly’s daughter, but also the beacon of light that guides her every step.
When Kelly isn’t busy being a softball mom, you’ll often find her at the heart of the game, expertly umpiring and keeping score. Her dedication to the sport shines through in every pitch and scorecard.
But that’s not all — Kelly is a crafting maestro! Each year, she channels her creativity into crafting heartfelt Christmas gifts for her family. Her talent knows no bounds, extending into scrapbooking and bespoke items.
Kelly’s love for photography is unmatched; she’s been known to snap more memories than most. From candid moments to carefully orchestrated shots, she cherishes every frame.
In her downtime, Kelly enjoys quality moments with her daughter, who also happens to be her best friend, and her 16-year-old brother, Konner-Bell. Their bond is a testament to the strength of family.
Beyond her nurturing side, Kelly is remarkably handy. Whether it’s fixing things around the house or tackling DIY projects, she’s a true jack-of-all-trades.
Kelly brings a unique blend of warmth, creativity, and spicy determination to our team. Her passion for life and family is an inspiration to us all. We’re fortunate to have her as part of our team here at Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope.
The Colorado Health Foundation is offering a non-profit sabbatical program.
Some of the criteria are:
- Be a Colorado-based executive director, CEO or tribal administrator of a non-profit organization working to bring health and health equity in reach for Coloradans
- Be an outstanding and respected leader with a demonstrated record of community contribution
- Have served at least three years in current executive role (five years preferred)
- Have at least seven years’ experience in an executive leadership role within the non-profit sector
Open Positions spotlight in Denver, tell your friends!
We are hiring for a Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative in the Denver area!
The Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative will focus on collecting feedback from food pantry users from a wide range of cultures as well as collecting feedback from our food pantry partners, community organizations as well as state, local and partner databases. This role will help identify trends in this feedback and coordinate responses such as developing recommended food lists and educational material and coordinating with internal staff to facilitate culturally responsive practices. The ideal candidate will have experience collecting feedback from a wide range of audiences, practice creative problem solving, have thoughtful communication skills and have a passion for food banking and/or equity.
The Food for Kids Totes of Hope™ Representative position has been posted on our website! You can find job postings under the “About” section” and selecting “Join Our Team” from the drop-down menu. You can also access the link here. Please pass along this opportunity to anyone you think may be interested in the Denver area!
For full job postings and to see all opportunities with Food Bank of Rockies, please visit foodbankrockies.org/about/join-our-team.
Food Bank of the Rockies is an equal opportunity employer and offers paid time off, health, dental, and 401(k) benefits.